Attack was 'savage'
In-denial accused "a worrying factor"
A YOUNG Wick man was jailed for ten months today, for what a sheriff described as "a savage assault".
Corey Barnetson, 21, attacked visiting joiner Ewan Macdonald with a metal pole and left him lying, badly injured in a Wick street with the parting threat -"Don't come back here again, or you'll get the same."
Mr Macdonald, 27, was so badly injured that he had to hold onto a wall as he struggled down Kennedy Terrace to get help. The assault left him with limited use of his right arm and he subsequently lost his job. Mr Macdonald required two operations and the ordeal was said to have affected his confidence and personality.
Barnetson, 6ft 4 ins and described as being "built like a tank", denied the assault on indictment and entered a special defence of alibi. But it took a jury less than an hour to return a majority verdict of guilty, last month.. The attack occurred, only four days after Barnetson was admonished on an unrelated assault, after successfully completing a good behaviour bond.
The assault on Mr Macdonald, occurred on July 26, last year. Mr Macdonald, 27, from Aberdeenshire, was working in the area at the time. He had been out on the town and was invited back to her home by a woman - the accused's mother - he had met while out socialising.
Mr Macdonald was attacked when he left her house in the early hours. The noise attracted the attention of Kiera Macleod who told the court in evidence that she saw from a window of her house, nearby, Barnetson, beating a man with a metre-long iron bar.
One of Barnetson's friends, Brett Webster, bumped into him in a neighbouring street, shortly after the incident. He told the court, that, initially, the accused was 'grinning' and appeared to be glad about what he had done. However, the mood subsequently gave way to remorse.
Barnetson, of 37 Kinnaird Street, Wick - he weighed 20st at the time - claimed he had been at his father's house in Oldwick Road that night and had stayed the night there.
Solicitor George Mathers told the court yesterday said that the motivation for the assault was the result of Barnetson's belief that Mr Macdonald had been taking advantage of his mother. Mr Mathers took issue with a background report which said that the accused show no empathy to his victim and went on: "He feels sorry as anyone would be, about what happened to Mr Macdonald. He does feel sympathy."
Sentencing Barnetson, Sheriff Andrew Berry said he had been found guilty of using a weapon to "savagely" inflict severe injury to permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment but conceded the accused had had some understanding of the life-changing repercussions with which Mr Macdonald has has to contend.
The sheriff continued: "Your position is that you didn't do it, even denying in evidence that you were not involved and that a mysterious someone else committed it. Incredibly though, you were seen by someone who knows you and had gone to school with you and then you are met by someone else Everyone is wrong but you. The fact that you are in complete denial of a serious assault in the face of overwhelming evidence, is worrying. It is no wonder your evidence was rejected by the jury. I take the view that because of the savagery of the attack, there has to be a prison sentence."
Sheriff Berry added that he would restrict the term in keeping with the Appeal Court view, that, in crimes of this nature, a young man might yet be capable of having a decent future.
Barnetson's tearful mother gave him a low-key wave,, from the public benches, as he was led away to start his sentence.
Last edited by Nwicker60; 17-Mar-17 at 17:24.